our mission

Building long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth.

our history

1982

Dr. Kent Hutcheson, Founder

Dr. Kent Hutcheson founded Colorado UpLift in 1982 as a summer jobs program for urban, underserved youth. Dr. Hutcheson’s passion was to help urban young people find hope in hopeless circumstances.

1987

Colorado UpLift

Colorado UpLift quickly changed its strategy in 1987 to teach character qualities and life skills needed for long-term success. UpLift staff members began providing leadership and character instruction in the public school system for students from 4th grade through college. Along with the In-School Program, Colorado UpLift regularly mentored students after school and throughout the summer, improving the odds for urban youth to emerge as successful, productive young adults.

1994

Guild

The Colorado UpLift Guild was launched in 1994 and has been instrumental in providing a myriad of services including purchasing vans, creating a homework club, and running arts & crafts for youth. They have also provided Christmas bonuses for staff, the Holiday Store, an annual fashion show, theme parties, and other activities.

2000

Advanced Leadership

Advanced Leadership provides UpLift high school students with a unique opportunity to develop and cultivate leadership skills. In 2002, Advanced Leadership students learned to give back by joining board members, UpLift staff, and others in building homes for needy families in Tijuana, Mexico.

2007

Adventure

In 2007, UpLift launched its Adventure program. The program introduced urban youth to skiing & snowboarding, rafting, backpacking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

2008

Post-Secondary

Having roots in the earlier Independent Living, Life Options, and College Lift programs, the Post-Secondary Program continues with UpLift graduates into college and career development. UpLift awards over $80,000 each year to students through donor-provided scholarships.

2014

Elevate USA Formed

After seeing the success of the UpLift model, Colorado UpLift launched the Model Replication Program, aimed at helping new cities launch. In 2014, Elevate USA was formed by Colorado UpLift advocates, allowing Colorado UpLift to focus on the city of Denver and release Elevate USA to replicate the Colorado UpLift program in cities throughout the US.

our history

1982

Dr. Kent Hutcheson, Founder

Dr. Kent Hutcheson founded Colorado UpLift in 1982 as a summer jobs program for urban, at-risk youth. Dr. Hutcheson’s passion was to help urban young people find hope in hopeless circumstances.

1987

Colorado UpLift

Colorado UpLift quickly changed its strategy in 1987 to teach character qualities and life skills needed for long-term success. UpLift staff members began providing leadership and character instruction in the Public School system for students from 4th grade through college. Along with the in-school program, Colorado UpLift regularly mentored students after school and throughout the summer, improving the odds for urban youth to emerge as successful, productive young adults.

1994

Guild

The Colorado UpLift Guild was launched in 1994 and has been instrumental in providing a myriad of services including the purchase of vans, homework club and arts & crafts for youth. They have also provided Christmas bonuses for staff, the Holiday Store, organized an annual fashion show, theme parties, and other activities.

2000

Advanced Leadership

Advanced Leadership provides UpLift high school students with a unique opportunity that develops and cultivates young leaders. In 2002, Advanced Leadership students learned to give back by joining board member, UpLift staff and other in building homes for needy families in Tijuana, Mexico.

2007

Adventure

In 2007 UpLift launched its Adventure program. The program introduced urban youth to snow skiing & boarding, rafting, backpacking, camping & other outdoor activities.

2008

Post-Secondary

Having roots in the earlier Independent Living, Life Options and College Lift programs, the Post-Secondary Program continues with UpLift graduates into college and career development. UpLift awards over $80,000 each year to students through donor provided scholarships.

2014

Elevate USA Formed

After seeing the success of the UpLift model, Colorado UpLift launched the Model Replication Program, aimed at helping new cities launch. In 2014, Elevate USA was formed by Colorado UpLift advocates, allowing Colorado UpLift to focus on the city of Denver and release Elevate USA to replicate the Colorado UpLift program in cities throughout the US.

help us reach more students

our

seven

core

beliefs

  1. We believe that EVERY CHILD is of great worth and has the desire and potential to succeed.
  2. We believe that LONG-TERM, 24/7 RELATIONSHIPS with caring adults have proven positive outcomes in the lives of our urban youth.
  3. We believe that a HOLISTIC approach is essential for a strong and healthy future for our youth.
  4. We believe that FULL-TIME, SALARIED TEACHER-MENTORS WHO COME FROM SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS as the students can have a positive influence and make all the difference.
  5. We believe that the SERVANT LEADERSHIP, creating a culture of selflessness and service, is the foundation of great leadership.
  6. We believe in the intrinsic DIGNITY of every person and act accordingly.
  7. We believe that COLLABORATION yields the best long-term results, acknowledging that the complex work in our urban centers cannot be done single-handedly.

program staff

Teacher/Mentors

advisory board

board of directors

Walt Rakowich, Chair
ceo (retired)
prologis

Ivan Anaya
Principal 
Astucia Development

Gary Anderson
COO
Prologis

John Andrews
Chairman
Backbone America

Robert Barbee
President and GM (Retired)
Barbee’s Freeway Ford

Stephen Barnett
Partner
Arrow Partnership 

Dave Beaver
Founder and Executive Consultant
Beaver & Associates Consulting

Brian Becker
Director and Private Banker
Citi Private Bank

Stephen Bell
Partner
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP

Randall Bellows
Co-Founder (Retired)
Cobe Laboratories 

Kelly Bennett
Co-Founder 
Ponderosa Advisors, LLC 

Bruce Benson
President 
University of Colorado  

Jerry Berglund
General Partner 
Enoch Holdings, LLC  

Marty Berglund
Community Volunteer   

Horst Bergmann
President (Retired)
Jeppesen  

Horst Bergmann
President (Retired)
Jeppesen  

Mac Blount
Sales Manager
Power Motive Corporation  

Ellen Boade
Vice President
CBIZ Talent and Compensation Solutions | EFL Associates  

Bob Boswell
Chairman and CEO
Laramie Energy, LLC  

Chase Boswell
Managing Partner
Thunder River Production  

Beth Bowlen-Wallace
The Denver Broncos  

Mark Brown
Managing Partner
Brown and Co  

Rod Buscher
President
Blinker, Inc.   

James Cleary
President
Bridge Financial Group   

Wanda Colburn
Managing Director
CIBC Private Wealth Management    

Alex Cranberg
Chairman of the Board
Aspect Energy    

Justin Culver 
Entrepreneur     

Del de Windt
CEO
Cardinal Group Companies    

Dave Fisher
Market President
FirstBank    

Kaye Lynn Fote    

Norm Franke
President
Alpine Bank    

Sam Freedman
Chairman (Retired)
Oppenheimer Funds

Charles Gallagher
Chairman and CEO
Gallagher Enterprises, LLC

Leslie Gamel-Curley
Architect and Principal
Eco-ARCH, LLC

John Gart
Partner
The Gart Companies

Taylor Gitcho
Senior Client Advisor
Crestone Capital, LLC

Jeff Gott
Senior Financial Advisor
Integrity Wealth Advisors

Neal Groff
Founding Principal and Owner
Groff Team Advisors

Mark Grosvenor

Lauren Hammer
Partner, Financial Services
KMPG, LLC

Ken Harrison
CEO, WaterStone Foundation
Chairman and CEO, Promise Keepers

Mike Haselden
VP and COO
Haselden Construction

Clifford Hickey
Managing Director
Anschutz Investment Company

J. Dave Hunter
Chairman
Financial Designs Ltd.

Margie Hunter
Community Volunteer
President, UpLift Guild

Stephen James
Managing Partner
Boulder Telcom Partners

Bruce Johnson
President
GHX

Katherine Kellen
Senior Vice President
Wells Fargo

David Keller, CLU, ChFC
Financial Advisor
Wealth Strategies Group, LLC

Eunice Kim
Regional President
BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Kurt Kittleson
Semi-retired

Eric Koeplin
Partner Advisor & Chairman of the Investment Committee 
AdvicePeriod

William Lazzeri
Partner (Retired) 
Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Michael Leede
Manager and Principal 
Leede Operating Company, LLC

Richard Lewis
Chairman
TPH Partners II, L.P.

James Lightner
Founder/Partner
Beacon E&P

Trish MacDonald
Senior Account Executive
OneNeck

Larry McKinley
Sr. VP and Financial Consultant
RBC Wealth Management

Shawn McLaughlin
CEO
Emporia Energy

Ted Millice
President
Millice Group, Ltd.

Claire Mindock
Marketing Executive
Melaleuca

Charles Mueller
CEO
Progress Residential

Paul Murray
Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor 
Bank of America Private Bank

Sean Myers
CEO
Pure Potential International

Victoria O’Connor
CEO
The O’Connor Group

John O’Dorisio Jr.
Attorney at Law
Robinson, Waters & O’Dorisio, PC

Erik Olson
CEO
ServPro

William Pauls
Chairman of the Board
The Pauls Corporation

Jim Peros
VP Employee Benefits and Community Engagement
AssuredPartners Colorado

Richard Plumridge
President
Richard R. Plumridge, PC

John “Pierre” Powell, Col (Ret)
President
PAMCO Investments Corporation 

Benjamin Rainey
Partner
Wealthpoint

Wendy Ralston
Audit Partner
Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Chris Rebich 
President
The O’Connor Group

Richard L. Robinson
Manager
Robinson Management, LLC

Amy Roe
Vice President Relationship Manager
Vectra Wealth Management

Duke Saeman
Founder & President
Seminole Investments, LLC

Richard Saunders
Founder & Chairman
Saunders Construction

Caroline Schuster
Chief Administrative Officer
Congruex

Gwenivere Snyder
Colorado Landmark Realtors Luxury Portfolio

Bill Sullivan
Colorado Market CEO
BOK Financial

Neville Teagarden
CEO
Al Capital

Rod Thacker
Managing Partner
Denver Retirement Partners, LLC

Antoine Toffa
Chairman
VideoBloom, Inc.

James Travis
President
Eaton Metal Products Co.

Jeffrey Vaughan
President/CEO
Tracker Resource Development III, LLC

Michael Ward
Owner/Operator
Mike Ward Automotive Infiniti/Maserati/Alfa Romeo/McLaren/Lamborghini/Aston Martin

Celso White
Former Global Chief Supply Chain Officer
Molson Coors Brewing Board Member CF Industries, Inc.

uplift ambassadors

Kevin Allen

Scott Beck

Porter Bennett

Jeffrey Bennis

William Bergner

Robert Bonnette

J. Charles Farmer

John Fox

Henry Gordon

William Graebel

Ferris Hamilton

Hugh Harvey

John Ikard

Vernon Isaacs

Brandon Johnson

Donald Kany

Randall Kenworthy

David Kornder

Eric Kramer

Donald Law

Robert Malone

John Manta

Michael Margolis

Matthew Meagher

Brent Morse

Peter Mounsey

Ralph Nagel